Journeying

We are all sojourners, temporarily resident on this precious planet. I woke early this Sunday morning and broke my usual writing routine. I played with the Saturday paper’s crossword first. Once I had tanked up with a second very large mug of tea I dipped into Ruth Padel’s The Poem and the Journey. Poems, as with journeys, are built on connections. As are all human relationships. Brené Brown has observed that we humans are hard-wired for connection Yet, any number of studies in any number of countries are warning that we are in an epidemic of loneliness, which will shorten a life span faster than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, over-eating, or not taking exercise. No wonder there is a demand for poetry anthologies that offer prescriptions like a literary rescue remedy.

Travellers are often those hungry for new connections. So, too, I believe is true for poets. There are many forms of journeying. But the prefered destination for all is genuine connection.

Two little poems this sunny Sunday morning. The first is for a writer friend who is wrestling with a manuscript while on a sojourn in a friend’s borrowed mountain cabin.. Retreats are often places where we best connect. It’s a quotation poem that takes its first line from Margaret Atwood on writing. The title is robbed from a line in an R.S. Thomas poem. Writers have a tendency for moods swinging between thinking that what they have written is the most wonderful arrangement of words ever and then that all they do is play with a pile of crap.

despair, writing, trail

And emerging from my early morning dreamland.

Night Passage

I sail , Chagall-like,
in inky illumination,
and colliding dimensions,
meeting those close to me
who are also far, far away

in a Dreamworld Departure Lounge
we will all soon fly from,
having checked in,
dropped our bags,
dutifully visited the shop's check out

where we greet each other
with delight, in surprise,
in confusion at our displacement,
this serendipitous meeting
and simultaneous leave taking.


Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Happy journeying through the next week.

NaPoWriMo2017 Day 29

The penultimate morning of a month of writing a poem a day, NaPoWriMo2017.  Today, the prompt asks us to take our favourite poem (what, only one?) and pick a noun. Free write around for five minutes. Then, construct.

It had to be a Mary Oliver. But which one? In the end, I realised the one that sings in my heart most is The Journey. And the noun I chose is the title word, since I have always had a fondness for those words with that jour syllable within. And I have also always loved the Irish farewell of ‘Safe journey, safe home.’

Sojourning

 

Stillness within movement

Encased in the metal jacket

A bullet train, a jet plane

Propulsion towards barriers

Speed, customs, immigration

But now is the in between

Neither here nor there.

 

The day opens, a fresh page

The hand moves across it

In transit

As plodding as Shank’s pony, sometimes

Loud and crowded as the Port Authority

Everyone everywhere is making

Their connection, like poetry.

Safe journey. Safe home.